Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Words Matter



What did Jonah say as he sat on a mound of rotten food in the big fish's stomach?

"If I'd kept my mouth shut, I wouldn't be down here."

Words matter. So do actions.

Jonah told God he didn't want to go to Nineveh and preach to sinners. 

Jonah didn't want to.

Well, duh! God wasn't asking for volunteers. He was recruiting.

The Bible doesn't record Jonah's exact words, but God hears what we say in our minds. No need to speak them aloud. God is God. He heard Jonah's unspoken and spoken words.

After speaking, Jonah ran. He ended up in the belly of the fish.

Rhetoric these days flies faster than bees to honey. People scream at each other. They tweet obscenities and argue in loud voices in homes, offices, and TV.

People offer sweet expressions too, but which words cause you the most damage or consequences? Kind or harsh ones?

In my latest book, Sarah and the angelic, Magical Makeover, Sarah helps Valerie with self-confidence. Valerie's dad has belittled her from infancy to adulthood. He told her she was ugly. Stupid. Would never amount to anything. She deserved jail. Valerie believed his words.

Sarah, being the unorthodox angel that she is, fixed his goose in a hilarious way.

Valerie is a character of fiction, but her circumstances of emotional abuse occur.

Remember the Bee Gee's song? "It's Only Words."  It's a romantic, love song. We show love by our words. The song says so, but we also show love by actions. You can listen to it here.


I'm making a commitment today to build up someone with words and actions. How about you?

Want to see what Sarah did to Valerie's dad? You'll love it.








Thursday, July 26, 2018

It Happened in Colorado Springs!



We went to Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago, actually spent July 4 there. Rain prevented a fireworks display, but the wildfires needed the rain, so we didn't complain.

We stayed at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, a lovely, rustic, place.



See the smoky haze in the sky?

Flying into the city meant we had no car, but we used Uber and the hotel shuttle. I must tell you about my conversation with one of the hotel drivers, a super nice guy who does his job well. I know his name, but for the sake of his privacy, let's call him Jake. Jake and I talked while he drove us to a destination.

Gay:   "So, have you worked at the hotel long?"

Jake:   "Five years."

Gay:    "I appreciate your attention to customer service. I'm an author and I have a newly released book out. The hero in my book graduated from the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel Management in Houston. It's part of the University of Houston. My hero drives a shuttle like this but also works in all aspects at the hotel. He plans to manage a major hotel one day."

Jake:  (He quickly turns to look at me with wide eyes) "Are you a spiritual person?"

Gay:   (This surprises me. I've not mentioned to him at any time that I'm a Christian author or a pastor's wife) "Yes I am."

Jake:   "How can I be a better person and be at peace?"

Gay:   (Wow! Talk about an unexpected invitation to share the Gospel!) "Get to know Jesus Christ. The more you know and imitate Him, the more you become a better person, and peace comes."

Jake:  (Nods his head)

Gay:   "Have you read the New Testament?"

Jake:   "Twice."

Gay:    "Good! Then you know that Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life. Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.'"

Jake:   "John 14:6."

Gay:   "You do know the Scripture! Fantastic. Now you need to make a choice. Place your trust in Jesus. God didn't wan't puppets, He gave us freewill so we could choose to love Him."

Jake;   (Nods his head again.)

Gay:   "He sent Jesus as His one and only plan for eternal life with Him.  If God had asked me to earn a million dollars, give it to Him, I couldn't do that. I don't have that kind of earning power. If He'd said to me, 'sell everything and live homeless under a bridge,' I couldn't do that either, but He didn't ask the impossible from me. God sent His Son to die on a cross as a way to reconcile man to himself. God's plan was bizarre, and yet Jesus agreed to it. Choosing Jesus is the only way to life, peace, and becoming a better person."

We arrived at our destination. Jake opened the door for us to exit.

Jake:  "Thank you for talking to me about this."

This event was not a co-incidence. It was God's Divine Appointment for two people.

I'm honored that God put me in the right place at the right time to share with Jake.

I plan to send him the book that started this conversation. I wish I knew what crossed his mind when I told him about my hero in the hotel business, and what prompted him to ask if I was a spiritual person. Perhaps his plan is hotel management and he related.





The hero's name in this book is Daniels. He meets Sarah at a hotel in Katy, Texas, and shuttles her from place to place. He's such a nice guy...Sarah thinks he may be another angel.

The heroine, Valerie, is insecure and a bit overweight. She's been bullied all her life, and Sarah plans to help her gain confidence, lose weight, and find a mate.  Sarah materializes as Oceana and becomes Valerie's roommate, and she introduces him to Daniels. They join a gym, but Valerie falls for the trainer, Travis. Sarah thinks Travis may not be the one for Valerie and tries to prevent the relationship. 

Here's a scene from the book.


“Heck no. Marriage isn’t necessary these days. It’s old-fashioned. I’m never getting married. I believe it’s okay for a man and woman to enjoy the pleasures they bring to each other. You don’t need a ring for that.” He leaned in and kissed Valerie in a slow, deep way. When he released her, Sarah could see Valerie was trembling. Travis gently pushed Valerie to a reclining position, pressed himself next to her on the sofa, and kissed her again.
Sarah wanted to gag. If she didn’t intervene, Valerie would succumb to the charms of Travis and regret her actions for the rest of her life.
She could make something happen to break up the love fest Travis had in mind. Oh sure, the Superiors reprimanded her when she interrupted a human’s sinful endeavor. That was a no-no. Humans were allowed to choose their conduct, but for Valerie’s sake, she’d intercede and take the consequences. Again.
What could she do? Sarah visually checked the room and then snapped her fingers. The smoke alarm! She lit three candles under it and made volumes of smoke drift upward.
RARRRRRR!!! The noise that thingy made would wake the comatose.
Valerie and Travis burst into the smoke-filled room. Travis blew out the candles and opened a window.
He checked for damage. After making sure there was none, he then turned to Sarah. “You almost started a fire.”
Sarah raised her brows. “Really? I thought I was putting out one.”















Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Top 50 Faith Blog


Medallion


Hooray!  My blog has been chosen to be among the top 50 blogs!

I'm honored and excited to be in this select group. My friends and I are doing the happy dance.


If you click on the link on this page, or the medallion at the top right, you'll find the site. You'll find encouragement in these blogs, and I hope you'll discover a few new ones to enjoy on a daily basis.

Check them out. You'll be happy you did! You'll find me at number 45!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Saying Grace


The story is told about D.L. Moody, a Chicago well-known preacher in the 1800's. While studying one day, he became enthused with the subject of God's grace. His exuberant  passion led him to the streets of Chicago. He grabbed the first person he saw and asked, "Man, do you know Grace?"

The accosted stranger replied, "Grace who?"

Moody meant God's amazing gift to humankind: His Son, the Cross, the Gift of Life, a Relationship with God through Christ. Whew! There's a lot to be overwhelmed and passionate about in all those thoughts. Grace indeed!

Down here in the south, before a meal, somone will ask, "who's gonna say grace?"  Or maybe the question will be, "who wants to ask the blessing?"

Do you pray before meals?

A hungry little boy was beginning to eat his dinner when his father reminded him that they hadn’t prayed.  “We don’t’ have to,” said the little boy.  “Mommy is a good cook!”



My cooking requires asking God's blessing.

SERIOUSLY!

Here's a picture of bread I made this past week.


Several people who know how to cook said I left out the liquid. I think they were right.  I was looking forward to hot bread and butter. It wasn't the bread machine's fault. Sigh.


Here's a picture of a cake I tried to make last Valentine's Day



A baker said I didn't allow the cake to cool enough before I turned the pan over. Sigh.

At our house, we always thank God for our meal. Not only because I'm not the best chef in the world, but we are grateful to have food before us.

Many don't.

Our church had a food pantry. We couldn't keep it stocked and supplied for the multitude who came.

In my Sarah books, Sarah, the petite angel who is always hungry but never gains weight, is grateful for angel food as well as human food.

She loves cheeseburgers and fries. Chef Andrew, the chief chef in The Heavenlies, supplies her with fish and veggies when she can't get into an earthly eatery. Healthy cuisine isn't her fav, but she's thanks God for the fish anyway.

President George H.W. Bush refused to eat broccoli. I have a friend who won't eat brussel sprouts. What do you refuse? I don't eat liver.

When you sit down for a meal today, ask God to bless your food. It might be a way to remain healthy...whether you're at home on in a local cafe.


I know a man who always said, "I don't eat meatloaf in a restaurant because I don't know what's in it. I don't eat meatloaf at home because I know what's in it."




Friday, July 6, 2018

Here's a New One for You




Sarah is back in Texas!  Read what people are saying about this new book release. Click on the link below.  Sarah is a favorite of many and she's already been on the best seller's list for this story!






Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy July 4th!


Don't you love July 4?

I do. Not only is it our nation's birthday, but it's also mine! 

A few years ago, (well, actually, it was more than a few), the doctor told my mom she'd had a firecracker before Sunday School on that hot, clear, Sunday morning. And she did! 

ME!

I love Sundays. The day of worship. I've always been thankful God had me arrive on a Sunday, and He's been part of my life since birth. I welcomed Jesus to my soul and heart when I was about six years old and surrendered for special service when I was eight. I call that my second birthday.

As I write this blog, it is Sunday, July 1st. I received a wonderful surprise this morning. My book, Sarah and the Angelic Magical Makeover appeared on Sale. It quickly went into the top 100 for Fantasy on Amazon. 


Yippee!  Not only did Sarah appear, but she made the best seller's list. An early birthday present! For me, and I hope many of you in America and elsewhere will love her.


Speaking of America. Our nation is stressed now with many issues. It seems that a lot of people are angry and unhappy about this or that.

I've read our history and know that the founding fathers also had their share of arguments, harsh words, and debates. They compromised and put together a wonderful constitution for our country.

But we had to fight for independence first.

War is not pretty.

Freedom cost men their lives.


Let's remember to give thanks this holiday for our independence. We are an autonomous, independent nation. Free to speak our minds and hold our opinions. Men and women paid a heavy price to give us this privilege.

OK, I'm off my soapbox. Do you need a good read today? One to relax and laugh with while you cool off from the outdoor festivities?

I've got one for you!


She'll make you laugh out loud!

Happy Fourth







Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sarah and the angelic Magical Makeover

She's Here!

Sarah is back in Texas again. This time to help a female with a makeover. 

How can a dyslexic, low-esteemed, inexperienced angel help Valerie, an insecure, overweight woman with a poor image of herself? To complicate matters, two men present themselves as possible mates for Valerie, but only one is the real deal. Can Sarah achieve a makeover while discovering the true love for Valerie?

Here are a few excerpts.


Valerie held up a sheaf of papers. “On this list of instructions, Travis suggests a mid-morning snack, so I’ve counted out twenty-five peanuts for you. That’s about one hundred calories. I usually eat a couple of fists full, but I promised to try this menu he gave us for a month.” Valerie handed Sarah a little snack baggie. “Are you allergic to nuts?”
Sarah frowned and scrunched her mouth to one side. “I don’t think so, but I’m learning new things about this body every day.”
Valerie performed an elaborate eye roll. “Aren’t we all?”
As the two ate breakfast, Sarah spoke more about going to the Sunday service with her. Part of her assignment was to introduce Valerie to a bachelor, and church was a good place to meet Christian men.
“Okay, okay. Enough already. I’ll go with you.” Valerie rinsed the cereal bowls. “If this music gig doesn’t work for you, try sales. You could sell snow to the residents in Siberia.”
Sarah cocked her head. “Oh, I don’t think so. They don’t need any. They already have plenty of the white stuff. My friend, Gale brings them snow from the four winds. Is there something else I could help them with?”
Valerie lifted her brows. “Selling snow is just an expression. Gale and his four winds.” She giggled. “At times, you make the strangest comments—Actually, you say weird things.” Valerie shook her head. “Oceana Waters, you are an enigma, worldly in many ways and naïve in others.”
“Yep, that’s me.”

Here's another.

As she sat at the gigantic pipe organ preparing to play, Sarah surveyed Daniels and Valerie in the congregation. They seemed to chat amiably as they waited for the service to start. She blew out a breath, relieved to see her charge comfortable in church.

Selecting the first prelude piece, Sarah placed hands on the manuals and feet on the pedals. Taking a quick gulp of air to calm herself, she pressed down to begin.
Blast! Roar! Earthquake! The massive musical instrument bellowed to life with an explosion of sound. The sudden, deafening hullabaloo coming from the hands of Sarah made the chandeliers shake and the stained-glass windows rattle. Dust mites danced in the sunlight as the musical notes reverberated through the sanctuary.
The audience recoiled at the detonating sound, and everyone gawked at Sarah. Most of them covered their ears as they stared at her.
Poopty doopty! So much for setting a tranquil tone for worship. A sudden racket like that could give a person a heart attack. What would the pastor say about this debacle? Merciful heavens! She’d just asked the Lord to bless her music, and here she sat, terrifying people out of their pews and searing their eardrums. Why did God allow such embarrassing mistakes anyway?

Here are a few quotes.

“I believe you’ll find my recommendations more than adequate. Each one on the list is endowed with a heavenly disposition. If you think I’m thought-provoking, just wait till you visit with them.” –Sarah

“I’d like a boyfriend—maybe a husband one day, but no one will have me. Most men want trim, beautiful women.” –Valerie

“I’ve never been able to overcome my feelings of inadequacy. I’m never good enough, no matter what I do.” –Valerie

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if mortals could add or subtract weight like she could? Life as an angel was so much easier than being human.” –Sarah

“Young people have raging hormones and sex is normal.” –Daniel

“You’re accepted based on who you are, not what you look like, not the color of your skin, or the amount of money in the bank account.” --Sarah

Sarah wrinkled her nose. “Yeah, that’s a bummer. I’ve heard that too. It seems a lot of things are geared to men down here and not women. If I get a chance, I’ll ask why that is." --Sarah

Available in eBook or Print!

Amazon eBook





Sunday, July 1, 2018

A Gift of Time


This Little Light Of Mine.
I'm gonna let it shine


Remember that sweet, pint sized ditty we sang as kids? 
It was and is a jaunty tune to sing.

     Later today, I'll be teaching about kindness in my Bible study class. I'm calling the lesson, "Shining our lights of generosity."

In today's lesson, we'll discover King David's generosity to Saul's crippled grandson. After we examine this Bible story, we'll find ways to apply it to our lives.

     Donating money to a charity organization is honorable. The dollars help meet the needs of others. Giving to individuals is worthy too.

     Contributing a check is relatively easy. It's also a quick way to ease our conscience. Even if the amount is small and reduces our guilt, it's still a gift. We allocate the best we can with what we have.

     Often we give and then forget why we gave.  That's OK. Needs are met, and those who receive the gift appreciate our generosity. In our defense, we may give money because our time is limited.

     This past week, two friends went with me to an assisted living facility. The residents are sweethearts and they appreciate the TLC anyone shows to them.  We applied makeup to faces and then took pictures of them wearing silly glasses. They loved it. We spent the entire day playing with makeup and crazy gadgets. In other words, we gave them no money. We gave them time.


     Another friend goes to this same assisted living place and simply sits in the afternoon on the porch with the rocking chair residents. She'll say something like, "tell my about your first pet." Many of these residents have limited memories but most remember their pet and they love to talk about their dog or cat. Sometimes she'll ask, "how did you meet your husband?" That question gets a big response too. She gives a gift of time.
                      
     I carry a hymn book in my car. I've stopped at nursing homes, entered unannounced, and started playing their piano or keyboard. You'd be amazed at how many of the residents gathered to listen, sing, or request a song.   In two weeks, I'll return to the assisted living place where we played makeover. I'll give them the pictures I took, and I'll play the keyboard and sing.   One of the residents wants me to visit in her room. She has it adorned with pictures of Elvis. I'll enjoy talking to her about my favorite performer. A gift of time.

Our little lights may be small. They may be burning low, but we can let them shine. 

A gift of light brightens gloomy days for many people.





Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah at Christmas